PolitiFact Trashes Lamar Smith: Says His Claims About Economic Impact Of Piracy Are Flat Out False
from the fact-checking dept
It turns out (as we've pointed out) there's nothing true about that statement. PolitiFact tracks down the key points on which Smith bases this claim, noting that it's a Chamber of Commerce report that says, "the U.S. consumption-based share of counterfeit and pirated goods is between $66 billion and $100 billion." Smith, obviously, just takes that higher number (already a questionable move), and insists that's the "harm." But, as PolitiFact points out, that's not what the report actually says.
In fact, the report flat out states that it "has not attempted to estimate business losses associated with counterfeiting and piracy." So to pretend that's what the report says is, well, lying.
PolitiFact checks in with a number of experts -- including someone from the Chamber of Commerce who produced the report -- who admits that it's simply not true to say that $100 billion is the cost to the economy. Add everything up, and PolitiFact says that Smith is being anything but truthful in his claims:
Smith’s statement draws on a high-end estimate also based on flawed assumptions for the U.S. "consumption-based share of counterfeit and pirated goods" in 2008. The cited $100 billion figure doesn’t reflect the costs to the economy, contrary to Smith’s claim; the 2011 study did not assess such costs, which are understandably slippery.Unfortunately, there still doesn't appear to be any punishment for trying to pass a really bad bill by using misleading stats, other than public ridicule.
Maybe there is no solid estimate of the cost to the economy. Smith’s CNN.com statement rates False.